The Cooperative Research Centres Association is a not-for-profit organisation operating to promote the pursuit of science, particularly through the Australian Government’s CRC Program.

You don’t have to be a CRC to join, find out more about our types of membership and benefits of joining the association.

Cooperative Research Centres “Not Butchered”

On a recent episode of The Business, presenter Ticky Fullerton questioned the Minister for Industry, The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, on “abolishing” the Cooperative Research Centres Program, or at least “butchering it”. Thankfully this is not the situation.

“CRCs are far from abolished” said CRC Association CEO, Dr. Tony Peacock.

“The recent budget cuts hurt, no doubt about it. But we have 36 CRCs working flat out, and a pipeline of new ones in development.”

Minister Macfarlane gave an example of Boeing’s advanced manufacturing earlier in the interview. The CRC for Advanced Composites Structures (CRC-ACS) were integral to that development which has resulted in a $4 billion manufacturing contract over 25 years. The CRC is now working with Airbus on “welding” of composites.

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 Media Release: Align, Focus and Scale

14 August 2014

The CRC Association welcomes comments by Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist of Australia, delivered in last night’s speech, No Free Rides to the Future: Shoring up the Science to Sustain Us, at the University of New South Wales during the Jack Beale Lecture.

Professor Chubb summed up his strategy for Australian science into four main objectives: competitiveness, education and training, research and international engagement.

The Chief Scientist said that Australia can and should “align, focus and scale” its research.

“That’s exactly what Cooperative Research Centres do—align, focus and scale” said Tony Peacock, CEO of the CRC Association. “It’s no coincidence that CRCs performs so well in any measure of research impact, they are designed for this outcome”.

“Bidding for a CRC is a very competitive process” says Tony Peacock “only the best get funded”. “CRCs also place a considerable focus on education and training—producing industry-ready graduates— and are highly collaborative, not only internationally but domestically”.

Information: Tony Peacock, CRC Association
Phone: 02 6273 0624
Email: Website:

Tony Peacock and Alex Sloan (666 ABC) discuss Data to Decisions CRC with Tim Scully

Australia 2040 Forum

Next year is the 25th Anniversary of the Cooperative Research Centres Program. To celebrate this milestone, the Cooperative Research Centres Association is holding our annual conference in Canberra on 25-27 May 2015.

We are excited to announce Dr. Megan Clark AC, currently CSIRO Chief Executive, will deliver the Ralph Slatyer Address on Science and Society at the welcome function at the Australian War Memorial on 25th May.

The Australia 2040 Forum will be held on 26 May in Australian Parliament House. We will look back 25 years over the achievements of Cooperative Research Centres and 25 years into the future, examining the challenges and opportunities for Australia in the next quarter century. A showcase of CRC achievements and the Excellence in Innovation Awards will be held in the Great Hall that evening. A series of important workshops will be held on the 27th.

If you are interested in supporting the conference contact for sponsorship opportunities.

Mark 25-27 May in your diaries now!

The Longitude Prize – a new (old) way to stimulate innovation

Commentary by Tony Peacock, CRC Association

The British public has voted for antibiotic resistance research to be the subject of the “first” Longitude Prize. The Longitude Prize 2014 is a prize fund of £10 million to tackle one of the biggest issues facing humanity, with the British public voting for antibiotic resistance over the field that also included flight, food, paralysis, water and dementia. The Longitude Prize 2014 commemorates the 300th anniversary of the Longitude Act of 1714, which was eventually awarded in 1765 to John Harrison for his chronometer (as well as sparking many other innovations).

The announcement of the public vote was made live on the BBC by British Prime Minister, David Cameron last month. The award is administered by the innovation charity Nesta, with the prize fund being put up by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. Lord Rees, the English Astronomer Royal, chairs the Longitude Committee, which is still working out final rules for awarding the prize.

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The Mining Equipment Technology and Services (METS)

The Mining Equipment Technology and Services (METS) now vies with gold as Australia’s third largest export from the mining sector, behind iron ore and coal. Anyone that thinks Australia’s mining prosperity relies on  plain luck and that the country just “shovels stuff out of the ground” displays an astounding level of ignorance. Mining is a knowledge industry and Cooperative Research Centres are making a significant contribution.

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Tony Peacock and Alex Sloan (666 ABC) discuss DET CRC’s Lab-at-Rig with James Cleverley

The Australia-US Alliance in an Emerging Asia

The US Study Centre at the University of Sydney convened a large meeting  in Canberra last week, to review the state of the Alliance. Research and innovation was significantly discussed as a major beneficiary of the  relationship.
The Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, pointed out that
Australia and the USA have collaborated on space research for over 50
years. The new Space Environment Management CRC will further that
relationship over the coming five years.

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Government outlines Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme

The Department of Industry has released a Discussion Paper seeking input to the proposed Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme announced in the May Budget. The paper can be accessed here and businesses are invited to give their feedback during June. The rush to give feedback is because the Programme is due to commence operations from 1 July.

The “new” Programme looks very much like a consolidation of parts of Enterprise Connect and Commercialisation Australia. The three streams are yet to be completely finalised, but in summary are:

  • Business Management (due to commence 1 July 2014) offers business advice under matching arrangements;
  • Research Connections (due to commence 1 September 2014) offers matching funding to $50,000 for researcher placement into businesses;
  • Commercialising Ideas (due to commence from 1 November 2014) offers matching funding to $250,000 for evaluation and commercialisation of ideas.

I have to admit to a sense of considerable disappointment on reading the Discussion Paper.

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